What does it mean to be a rainmaker in today’s private real estate market? That is a divisive question.

Some – including Washington DC-based private equity firm Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein – question the use of the phrase in today’s industry. “With the amount of due diligence, compliance and legal factors, it’s very unlikely that anyone is going to be able to persuade investors to go into a fund by themselves,” he said.

Others disagree. Yes, they say, private capital markets are different to those of the 1990s and early 2000s, but the value of a talented individual still makes a difference.

The skillset required, however, has evolved. One veteran fundraiser argued that, in the past, a rainmaker would have sat in a placement agent’s distribution team – persuading investors of propositions not to be missed. The modern rainmaker, on the other hand, is more likely to be the project manager, deciding which managers are worth working with and helping to shape their propositions.

This example assumes the rainmaker is a placement agent, not an in-house professional. But the make-up of PERE’s Rainmaker30 list is 14 external, 16 internal. As the private real estate asset class has developed, many managers have taken their fundraising in-house, often plucking placement professionals from banks or independent shops – something Carlyle’s Rubenstein pioneered. Indeed, today some of the highest regarded rainmakers in the sector operate within an established business.

That brings us to the methodology. To compile the Rainmaker30PERE’s editorial team surveyed senior professionals across the globe asking them to nominate fundraisers. The only rule: no nominations for people in the same organization. The question was simple: if you were raising a fund, who would you want on your team and why?

Of course, how one assigns value to the efforts of individuals in this field is as subjective as it comes. Is it right that the leading capital-facing executives at sector giant Blackstone – the three regional heads of which are included in the list – are considered better performers than a placement agent who leads his or her own boutique advisory and has raised over a $1 billion for platforms from a standing start and with a no mega-card to open doors on their behalf? Surely not. As such, PERE has decidedly ensured this is not a ranking, but a collective.

The results comprise a spectrum of talented fundraisers from those who have shepherded tens of billions of dollars into strategies to those who have taken personal risks on supporting first-time fund managers.

What does it mean to be a modern rainmaker? One proffered this definition: either they have put someone in business who otherwise would not be, or they have the power to turn an investor ‘no’ into a ‘yes.’ Looking across our list, we found plenty of both.

Matilde Attolico

Global head of funds advisory, JLL

Attolico’s team-building work as managing director helped establish New York’s Hodes Weill & Associates’ European business. That effort caught the eye of JLL, which poached her and colleague Zeynep Fetvaci last year to light a fire under the broker’s own capital markets growth effort. And lit a fire she has; Attolico is behind JLL’s ambitious effort to have the world’s biggest fund advisory business by Q1 2019.

A plan to have 25-30 dedicated staff across seven offices has already seen fellow fundraisers heed the call; recruits have included well-known Asian capital raiser Martijn van Eldik, who joined from Morgan Stanley last year and Lazard’s Jerry Cain, who came aboard this summer to lead its US team.

Jon Berquist

Co-founder, Accord

Berquist has raised 50-odd funds over more than three decades in the real estate industry. After selling his last placement agency, Presidio Partners, which raised 22 funds totaling $12 billion of equity, to Macquarie in 2010, he co-founded Accord in 2013. To date, the firm has helped place eight funds, while its biggest business, raising recapitalizations, has completed over $5 billion in transactions.

Julie Brenton

Head of investor relations, Dune Real Estate Partners

Brenton sits on the New York-based Dune’s investment committee. A source who has worked with Daniel Neidich’s firm says she is “earning her keep” as a “key player” in capital-raising efforts for its opportunistic strategies, the latest fund of which has captured half the $1.25 billion of equity targeted in about a year. Brenton joined the firm in 2014 and previously oversaw capital raising and investor relations at Ranieri Real Estate Partners.

Anthony Biddulph

Chief executive, Capra Global Partners

Ex-policeman Biddulph has made some real hay since forming Capra in 2013. Indeed, in the last five years, he has overseen €1.62 billion of capital raisings spread across 40 different tickets. From assisting big brands such as US private equity real estate firm GreenOak to the more niche outfits like Nordics care home Northern Horizon, Biddulph’s endeavors have been wide-spanning and in a short span of time his firm has become a recognized force in European private real estate capital markets.

Gena Cheng

Managing director, USAA Real Estate

As a capital raiser that has been on the investor side, Cheng knows exactly what investors need and is aware of the pressures that they face, a pension fund portfolio manager told PERE. She can anticipate what questions a portfolio manager might have, and that gives her a “leg up” on her peers. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field and acted as managing director of marketing and investor relations at Forum Partners, chief operating officer at placement agent JT Partners and portfolio manager at APG Asset Management prior to joining USAA in 2014.

Michael Crawford

Managing director, Eaton Partners

Crawford is Easton Partners’ real estate elder statesman. With 28 years of advising in alternative investments under his belt, 17 of which at Eaton Partners, the firm’s real estate boss has led a team responsible for some of the sector’s most notable capital raises, including for established series such as secondaries heavyweight Landmark Partners, as well as fledgling efforts such as Baring Private Equity Asia’s first real estate fund. For Landmark, Eaton advised on the $720 million raising of Landmark Real Estate Partners VI and for Baring PEA, the firm advised on its $365 million BPE Asia Real Estate Fund.

Christina Gaw

Managing principal and head of capital markets, Gaw Capital Partners

Described as a role model and a fierce advocate for women in Asian private real estate by one source, Gaw has steered Gaw Capital Partners to become one of the most successful capital raisers in Asia-Pacific and beyond. Her enviable track record includes raising over $2.7 billion for the last three funds in Gaw Capital’s pan-Asia opportunistic series, over $700 million for three US-focused funds and several funds and co-investment deals targeting specific investment strategies.

Alexandra Hill

Managing director, head of real estate business development, Americas, Blackstone

How could the individuals behind Blackstone Real Estate Partners, the sector’s biggest and most impactful fund series not be included in PERE’s list of rainmakers? While a series that has generated realized net IRRs of 20 percent and a 2.3x multiple from almost $69 billion of exits since its inception opens doors in and of itself, it still needs pushing, and ex-Colony executive Hill has assumed increasingly more responsibility for the US part of that push since joining in 2008. Her efforts are even more noteworthy when you consider that much of the capital raised for Blackstone’s funds have come from her native US.

David Hodes

Founder and co-managing partner, Hodes Weill & Associates

David Hodes is best-known as one-half of the Hodes (Doug) Weill duo jointly running a top placement and advisory business since their Credit Suisse days in 2000. Hodes’ individual career highlights include the formation of more than 100 private funds and other vehicles representing more than $75 billion of equity. Notable among these was the fundraising of the first international opportunity fund in the time before Blackstone – Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing’s Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund III.

Chris Hughes

Chief executive, capital markets, Hines

Houston-based office developer turned multi-asset class fund manager Hines has raised 57 funds since 1991. Hughes, who joined the firm five years prior, has played an active role in most of them. His work has seen him elevated to leading Hines’ capital markets group at the $116 billion sector giant and mix with the top institutional echelons. In an interview with PERE in 2015, he confirmed how more than 70 percent of Hines’ gross asset base was capitalized by external institutions, with fewer than 20 investors making up the majority of that 70 percent.

Gentry Hoit

Partner, GAH Real Estate

GreenOak Real Estate’s ascension to one of the largest private equity real estate firms has been at least in part due to the skills of Gentry Hoit, according to one industry observer. Indeed, Hoit, who began raising capital for GreenOak while at New York-based placement firm Park Madison Partners, was brought in-house as GreenOak’s head of business development in 2016. Hoit has now moved onto running her own firm, GAH Real Estate, which launched this year.

James Jacobs

Managing director, Lazard

Former DTZ Corporate Finance director Jacobs is one of the people to know in Europe’s private real estate capital markets. Under his watch, Lazard was involved in more than $1.5 billion of fundraisings in the region last year alone, with notable assignments including Henderson Park’s $1 billion-plus debut fund at the bigger end, and funds for Eastern Europe-focused Bluehouse and UK-oriented Paloma at the smaller end.

Lama Kanazeh

Managing director, head of investor relations and business development, Europe, Blackstone

When Kanazeh joined Blackstone around the time of the global financial crisis, the international supplementary funds to the firm’s main BREP series were evolving into Europe-specific vehicles. As Kanazeh’s stature grew, so did the subsequent BREP Europe series. Today, it has attracted approximately $18 billion from investors on the back of 18 percent net IRRs and a 2.1x equity multiple. Kanazeh led the fundraising for the latter two vehicles in the series. Her time is not only spent raising money for Blackstone’s opportunistic strategies, however. She is also the sole investor relations and business development professional at the firm responsible for the platform’s Middle Eastern relationships.

Carol Kim

Senior managing director, head of investor relations and business development, Asia, Blackstone

Having been part of Blackstone since 2008, Kim has been instrumental in the New York-based asset management firm’s record-smashing success in Asia from the get-go. One industry source credited her strong insight and ability to think about the long-term needs of institutional investors, given her 15 years of global fundraising experience. That experience was on display for institutions the world over as she presented Blackstone’s performances from its first Asian fund – realized net IRRs of 23 percent and a 1.8x equity multiple – in a bid to raise its second. That effort paid off, as the firm captured $7.1 billion for its second pan-Asia opportunistic vehicle, marking another capital raising record.

Nancy Lashine

Co-founder, Park Madison Partners

The co-founder of the New York-based placement agency has overseen the placement of more than $12 billion in private equity capital for clients investing in the US, Europe and Latin America. Since the firm’s 2006 founding, Lashine has increased Park Madison’s roster to 11 employees and has worked with dozens of emerging and established real estate firms to develop institutional relationships and growth-focused products.

Gustaf Lilliehook

Partner, head of business development and investor relations, NREP

NREP has benefited from gaining institutional trust at a time when Nordics real estate has been in high demand and there has been scant competition from other fiduciaries in the region. However, anybody playing an integral role in raising a fund that finds itself more than two times oversubscribed deserves a position on PERE’s Rainmakers list. NREP Nordic Strategies Fund III had as much as €2.3 billion of requests for just €900 million of units. A performance of 32 percent IRR and 1.7x equity did its part. Ex-International Finance Corporation executive Lilliehook and his fundraising colleagues did the rest.

Robb Macnicol

Executive director, Pacific Capital

Another Macquarie alumni, Macnicol co-founded Pacific Capital, a Sydney-based specialist equity and debt shop in 2009, after spending 10 years with the bank. During the last five years, Macnicol has raised over A$2.8 billion ($2 billion; €1.7 billion) in equity for a range of global clients including Walton Street in Chicago and Colonial First State in Sydney. Pacific Capital has also completed real estate debt transactions of over A$1.5 billion during that time. Macnicol is intimately involved in every capital raise, using his banking and fund management experience to advise clients throughout fund formation and placement.

Mike McMenomy

Global head of investor services, CBRE Global Investors

Since joining CBRE Global Investors in 2005, McMenomy has led the global capital raising effort and brought in more than $81.8 billion in commitments as of June 30. Under his leadership, the firm raised a record $9.9 billion in 2017. Prior to his role at CBRE Global Investors, McMenomy served as senior managing director of the CBRE Investment Properties Institutional Group, where he led a national team dedicated to providing service delivery to some of the largest multi-market institutional clients.

Eric Mogentale

Managing principal, Walton Street Capital

“People like him and he’s not afraid to ask for the order,” one source said of Mogentale, who co-founded Walton Street Capital in 1994. The “straight shooter” has brought in more than $11 billion in equity commitments while overseeing marketing and client services for the firm. Prior to founding Walton Street, he was a vice president of JMB Insitutional Realty Corporation in the acquisitions group and a senior consultant at Arthur Anderson & Company.

Elaine Philis

Managing director, CBRE Capital Advisors

Nominated by a source working on behalf of a US pension fund, Philis is making quite the impression. Unlike many capital raisers, she knows not to waste an investor’s time with over persistence and is “astute at understanding investor needs,” the source said. Philis has participated in the raising of $5.8bn of domestic funds and raised more than $1.1bn of emerging market funds during a career also involving spells at TGM Associates, Lend Lease, Westbrook and Tishman Speyer. Debt raising has featured, too. At advisor HFF, Philis has placed more than $2.2 billion of debt on behalf of insurers, banks, pensions and CMBS platforms.

Brett Robson

Global head, Macquarie Real Estate Investments

A tour de force in private real estate circles, Robson has long been destined to lead Macquarie’s institutional real estate advisory business. He eventually took over earlier this year following the retirement of former head Chris Green and amid its transition into an investment business called Macquarie Capital Real Estate Investments. By that point, the business had raised some $64 billion in private equity commitments since 2003, including $9 billion for operating platform partners since 2010, with Robson often driving the effort. His recent highlight transactions include the firm’s investment in the logistics specialist LOGOS Property Group, which has gone on to chart an ambitious Asia-Pacific expansion, tallying over $3.1 billion in equity from investors.

Frank Schmitz

Partner, Park Hill Real Estate Group

“Frank Schmitz is as good as it gets,” says one industry insider. He and his team “understand the business inside and out. They know how to get both a first-time real estate fund done and a big opportunistic fund done.” Since co-founding Park Hill Real Estate in 2005, Schmitz and his team certainly have racked up the blue-chip fundraises. Beyond their work for sector giant Blackstone, they have raised more than $30 billion for clients that include Northwood Investors, Savannah Partners and PAG Real Estate.

Julie Solomon

Head of product management and IR, real estate, Ares Real Estate

Solomon strategically builds and enhances investor relationships rather than just selling to everyone, a source told PERE. Since joining Ares in 2013 through its acquisition of AREA Property Partners, she has led her team in raising approximately $12 billion for its real estate strategies. Furthermore, her efforts on leading the fundraising and investor relations for three generations of US and European real estate private equity and debt funds has helped initiate the firm’s expansion into new strategies in each region.

Jennifer Spendlove

Managing director, Oaktree Capital

One of Oaktree’s US limited partners identified Jennifer Spendlove as a top capital raiser among the many firms with which he invests. The ex-vice president at Goldman Sachs and pension investments and finance manager at Pfizer joined Oaktree in 2009, where her work has seen her rise from vice president to managing director. Oaktree’s capital-raising efforts have kept her busy: the firm’s recent real estate fund raises include $2.92 billion for its seventh opportunistic fund, a 2015 vintage, and $2.2 billion for its 2016-vintage debt fund.

Adam Tantleff

Managing principal, investor relations, Madison Realty Capital

Adam Tantleff has raised over $2 billion for the firm since joining in 2005. A consultant underscores his “years and years of hard work” to build Madison’s capital base, noting he “still markets very aggressively, as if he is starting from ground zero each time.” Meanwhile, a US public pension executive praises “his working knowledge of [its] investments, willingness to provide transparency and ability to succinctly explain complex investment themes.”

Bill Thompson

Senior managing director, co-CEO private capital advisory, Evercore

To use a sports analogy, Evercore made itself a big-name signing when it poached Bill Thompson and other senior members of Greenhill’s capital advisory team in April to grow its real estate platform alongside its already established private equity and infrastructure business lines. In Thompson, Evercore has a seasoned executive with 30 years of experience during which time he has overseen the formation of more than 110 real estate partnerships totaling almost $70 billion of capital globally. It is thus of little wonder San Francisco-based Thompson’s direct line of management is straight to group CEO Ralph Schlosstein.

Eduard Wehry

Head of Asia-Pacific business development, PGIM Real Estate

While compiling this list, Wehry’s name come up several times as one of Asia’s better-known capital raising professionals, with his 13 years of experience in the region. Wehry spent several years at ING Real Estate, raising institutional capital for Korea and China vehicles as well as regional fund strategies and played a key role in the sale of the firm’s Asia business to CBRE Global Investors in 2011. Wehry now heads Asia-Pacific business development at PGIM Real Estate, which manages more than $7 billion of assets in the region for strategies including a value-add fund series, the last fund of which closed on more than $750 million months after he joined.

Doug Weill

Founder and co-managing partner, Hodes Weill & Associates

The other leader behind the repeat winner of PERE’s Capital Advisory Firm of the Year award, Doug Weill has raised $21 billion in capital in connection with private placements over his 30-year career, including for funds of long time clients Exeter Property Group, Cerberus Capital Management and PCCP. He also led the transaction team that advised Clarion Partners on an approximately $3 billion recapitalization and conversion of Gables into an open-ended fund. Such is his sway among the world’s private real estate investors he can garner more than 240 responses for his firm’s well anticipated Institutional Real Estate Allocations Monitor, an institutional sentiment survey published annually with Cornell University.

Lanhee Yung

Managing director, capital raising and investor relations, Starwood Capital Group

Lanhee Yung has garnered more than $15 billion in equity over 13 years, the last eight of which have been spent at Starwood Capital Group, where Yung most recently helped to raise the Miami, Florida-based private investment firm’s largest real estate fund to date, the $7.55 billion Starwood Global Opportunity Fund XI.

Yung also led the largest disposition in the firm’s history for a portfolio of 285 hotels in 2016.

Jon Zehner

Global co-head, client capital group, LaSalle Investment Management

Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management has 300 clients in its commingled funds, 65 separate account clients and 28 real estate debt and special situations clients behind $15.8 billion, $36.4 billion and $2.4 billion of assets respectively. Presiding over all these relationships is Zehner. As one of the best respected capital-facing executives, he became the firm’s main point person for LaSalle’s capital providers, joining from private equity real estate firm AREA Property Partners in 2012. New products? Large cross-border strategic investments? Chances are Zehner is behind them.